COBSEA Coordination Associate (UNEP)

United Nations Volunteers (UNV)

Nairobi, Kenya 🇰🇪


Mission and objectives

Since its inception in 1972, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been the global authority that sets the environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, UNEP works through its divisions as well as regional, liaison and out-posted offices and a growing network of collaborating centres of excellence.


UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. UNEP´s Ecosystems Division is responsible for ecosystem management for human well-being, which including marine and coastal ecosystems. UNEP launched the Regional Seas Programme in 1974. Today, more than 146 countries have joined 18 Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans for the sustainable management and use of the marine and coastal environment, and the Regional Seas play a crucial role in supporting countries with the implementation and monitoring of the ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals and associated targets. The Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) is the lead agency of the United Nations for marine environmental matters in the East Asian Seas, coordinating and facilitating implementation of the Action Plan for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment and Coastal Areas of the East Asian Seas Region (the East Asian Seas Action Plan). COBSEA is administered by UNEP’s Ecosystems Division. The Secretariat is hosted by Thailand, located at UNEP’s Asia and the Pacific Office in Bangkok. COBSEA’s Strategic Directions 2018-2022 emphasize: addressing land-based marine pollution with a focus on nutrients, sediment and wastewater, as well as marine litter and microplastics; strengthening marine and coastal planning and management, with a focus on ecosystem-based management approaches including Marine Protected Areas and Marine Spatial Planning; and sharing marine environmental management experiences and policies towards strengthened regional governance.

Task description

Under the direct supervision of the COBSEA Coordinator and the overall supervision of the Ecosystems Integration Branch Head, the UN Volunteer will undertake the following tasks: • support the COBSEA Coordinator in implementing the COBSEA Strategic Directions 2018-2022 and enhance communication efforts of the Secretariat; • support regional activities of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) including the regional GCRMN report on the status of coral reefs for East Asia; organization of regional GCRMN workshops; recommendations on coral reef monitoring and coral reef management for consideration of the COBSEA IGM and national follow-up; as well as recommendations for regional coral reef MPA network planning support the implementation of activities pertaining to marine and coastal planning and management including activities geared towards marine and coastal spatial planning as well as marine protected areas.


Required experience

3 years of experience in environmental field is required and a particular interest to work in marine related areas is essential. Experience in the East Asian Seas region is desirable.

Area(s) of expertise

Natural and life sciences

Driving license: –

Languages: English, Level: Fluent, Required

Required education level

Bachelor degree or equivalent in marine issues, geography, natural resources management, sustainable development or international relations

Competencies and values

Communication professionalism planning and organizing working in team